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Showing posts from September, 2011

Patient-reported outcome measures

An article published recently in Pulse by Michael Soljak and I examined the use of patient reported outcome measures. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) estimate the effectiveness of healthcare delivered to patients as perceived by the patients themselves. The recent Government White Paper, ‘Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS',2 envisages an increase in the scope and coverage of PROMs in future, starting from April 2011. For providers, PROMs will provide important data for quality improvement, in the form of comparative, casemix-adjusted pre- to post-operative changes in scores. They will also have a role in commissioning. For example, PROMs might be used to identify procedures with little benefit, or subgroups of patients who do not benefit greatly from surgery. This could allow more effective targeting of resources to improve health gain.

Quality of Type 2 Diabetes Management in the States of The Co-Operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasing worldwide. Recent growth has been particularly dramatic in the states of The Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), and these and other developing economies are at particular risk. In a systematic review published recently in PLoS One, Layla Alhyas and colleagues review the quality of control of type 2 diabetes in the GCC, and the nature and efficacy of interventions. They found the the quality of diabetes management to be sub-optimal. Assessment of the efficacy of interventions was difficult due to poor quality studies and a lack of data, but the findings of the review suggested that there was considerable scope to improve the quality of diabetes care in this region.

Association of practice size and pay-for-performance incentives

In an article published recently in the Canadian Association Medical Journal, Eszter Vamos and colleagues from Imperial College examined the association between size of general practice and the quality of diabetes management in England between 1997 and 2005. They found improvements in the recording of process of care measures, prescribing and achieving intermediate diabetes outcomes in all practice sizes during the study period. They concluded that size of practice was not strongly associated with the quality of diabetes management in primary care; and that pay for performance programmes appear to benefit both large and small practices to a similar extent.

Risk factors for adverse outcomes in diabetes in the Gulf

A systematic review published recently by Layla Alhyas and colleagues in JRSM Short Reports examined the prevalence of risk factors for diabetes and its major complications in the Co-operation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) region. They reported high prevalences of risk factors such as obesity, hyperglycaemia, hypertension and abnormal blood lipids. Enhanced management of these risk factors will be essential if escalation of diabetes-related problems is to be averted as industrialization, urbanization and changing population demographics continue in the countries in the Gulf region.